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The Cities Where Job Growth Is Outpacing New Homes

Coastal metros are building more multi-family units than they have for years, but it's still not enough. Meanwhile, Sun Belt cities are doubling down on single-family sprawl.

California is permitting new housing at the slowest rate since the Great Recession according to a new report released by California’s Legislative Analyst’s office, using data from the Construction Industry Research Board.

“Since 1990, only two other time periods—the first half of 1990s and the Great Recession—have had permitting declines as significant as the state has experienced over the past year,” analysts Brian Uhler and Justin Garosi write.

As it turns out, the rest of the country hasn’t rebounded so well since 2006, either. By analyzing Census Bureau data on building permits issued in the years since 1990, rental-property site Apartment List found that 38 percent fewer housing units were permitted nationwide in 2018 than in 2005, the year permits peaked before the recession.

“The total number of residential housing units permitted in 2018 was roughly the same as the number permitted in 1994, when the country’s population was 20 percent less than it is today,” reads the report, which was released last month. For cities and states that are trying to combat the affordable housing crisis, and especially if they are scrambling to keep up with an influx of jobs—both true of California—this spells trouble.

The entire picture isn’t one of lethargy, Chris Salviati, the author of the Apartment List report, says: Multi-family home construction has actually accelerated since the Recession, especially in the 25 largest cities.

In New York City metro for example, more than three-quarters of all the new units permitted from 2006 to 2018 were multi-family buildings; in San Francisco, about 65 percent….[ ]

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